Senate Passes Energy Bill

Cindy Zimmerman

After stripping the bill of a $21 billion tax package, he U.S. Senate has passed an amended energy bill that includes an expansion of the Renewable Fuels Standard to 36 billion gallons of annual renewable fuel use by 2022. The bill now goes back to the House of Representatives for approval before it can be sent to the president for his signature. Removal of the tax increases for oil companies should remove the threat of a presidential veto. The Senate also removed another provision the White House had objected to which would have required that 15 percent of America’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020.

RFARenewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says the Senate bill takes a big step forward in making the nation more energy stable and environmentally sustainable.

“This bill, and the Renewable Fuels Standard specifically, is an affirmation of what is possible when we work together to achieve a common goal,” said Dinneen in a statement. “By relying more heavily on domestically produced renewable fuels, including next generation technologies such as cellulosic ethanol, we can begin the hard work necessary to mitigate the impact of global climate changes, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and leave a more stable and sustainable future for generations that follow.”

ACEBrian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Ethanol Coalition, commended the Senate for its action. “This may be the most profoundly important step in support of energy security ever taken by the U.S., an unmistakable shift toward renewable fuels and energy conservation and away from our dangerous and expensive reliance on fossil fuels,” Jennings said.

Cellulosic, Energy, Ethanol, Government